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Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

13 Days

The Emerald Isle is internationally renowned for the quality and freshness of its cuisine, from local lamb to the finest seafood. Specially designed to coincide with the world-famous Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival, this chauffeur-driven journey combines some of Ireland’s most rugged and breath-taking scenery with the finest dining in the country.

Tailor-made experiences such as kayaking and horse-riding amidst the splendour of Killarney National Park, privately guided food tours through the cities of Dublin and Galway, and private access to a 16th century castle are complimented by stays at luxurious properties to create a wonderfully indulgent trip.

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrive Dublin

Day Two: Morning at leisure. Afternoon tour of Dublin

Day Three: Taste of Dublin Tour and Private Cookery Class

Day Four: Depart Dublin for Killarney

Day Five: Explore Killarney National Park by kayaking on lake

Day Six: Explore Killarney National Park by bike and horseback

Day Seven: Motor Yacht on Lough Derg to Galway

Day Eight: Tour of Galway and attend opening evening of Oyster Festival

Day Nine: Spend day at the Oyster Festival

Day Ten: Exploration of the Burren and Farmer’s Market

Day Eleven: Stay in Castle overlooking Lough Corrib

Day Twelve: Day at leisure on the Castle Estate

Day Thirteen: Drive to Knock Airport for return flight home

VIEW ITINERARY DETAILS


HIGHLIGHTS

A visual glimpse of the key things to do and places that will be visited on this exciting itinerary

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS


Day one: Arrive Dublin

On arrival at Dublin Airport, be met by your experienced chauffeur-guide who will provide a safe and comfortable transfer into the city centre. Today, Dublin is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe and a panoramic tour of the city with your chauffeur-guide will provide an excellent introduction.

Day Two: Morning at leisure. Afternoon tour of Dublin

Spend the morning at leisure. In the afternoon, stretch your legs and explore the city with an eco-friendly bike tour. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, discover hidden gems and highlight attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Merrion Square and Temple Bar.

Day Three: Taste of Dublin Tour and Private Cookery Class

Accompanied by a personal expert guide, venture off the beaten track to discover some of the Dublin’s foodie highlights. Along the way, your guide will entertain with a sprinkling of snippets on the history of Irish food and the city, pointing out interesting and quirky architecture as you pass. You will visit a range of bakeries, food halls, street markets and delicatessens. In the afternoon, explore the heritage of Irish food in a private cookery class.

Day Four: The Journey South

Accompanied by your chauffeur-guide, depart Dublin and begin the journey to the south-west corner of Ireland and to Co. Kerry which has been celebrated for its beautiful scenery since the early 19th century. En route, visit the spectacular St Patrick’s Rock, also known as the Rock of Cashel or Cashel of the Kings.

Day Five: Killarney National Park - Part 1

Spend the day exploring Ireland’s first National Park, Killarney National Park; a place of intense beauty.

Enjoy the experience of kayaking on one of the beautiful lakes. Departing from 15th century Ross Castle, your journey will see you discover wooded islands, limestone caves and local history.

Day Six: Killarney National Park - Part 2

Spend a second day exploring Killarney National Park, today with two specially arranged take to the saddle experiences. Accompanied by an expert local guide, enjoy a trail ride through Knockreer Estate, which lies north of Lough Leane, the largest of the three lakes. As you travel on horse-back, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery. To follow take to the saddle once again, this time with a biking tour led by another specialist private guide. Your route will take you along the perimeter of the Killarney Lakes and deep into the Killarney Park.

Day Seven: Ireland through the Ages

Board the only skippered motor yacht on the Lakelands of Lough Derg and sail to your first visit of the day – a private castle set on its very own tiny island. Get your first flavour of Ireland as you savour a range of artisan food and drinks akin to those of the 16th century, from a honey glazed ham, Irish Meade, and, if feeling a little braver, Irish Poitin – once illegal Irish vodka.

Fast forward two hundred years and travel to a gorgeous 18th century Manor house and meet the lady of the manor; a wonderful character. Here, sample a wide range of local artisan cheese tastings paired with homemade spiced chutney and organic apple syrup.

Your final visit is to a contemporary lakeside Villa where you will enjoy a tour of this beautiful private home by its charismatic owner and view her private collection of Irish Contemporary Art and Sculpture by renowned Irish artists. Your host, having studied with Chef Rick Stein, then welcomes you to a unique Irish Seafood Platter Meal which will be served in the dining room which offers spectacular lake views.

Day Eight: Galway

Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and has the highest density of restaurants in Ireland. So, there can be no better way to discover the city and to get a taste of the region than with a culinary walking tour, led by a specialist local guide. Explore the famous Galway Market and sample a delicious array of local produce from cheese and seafood to sweet treats and local beers. This evening, attend the opening evening of the famous Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.

Day Nine: Galway

Spend the day at the festival, soaking in the atmosphere and exploring the impressive programme of events. Watch the highly competitive World Oyster Opening Championships in which 22 International Openers will ‘shuck it out’ for the title. There will also be an array of tasting events and cookery demonstrations to take in. Of course, the highlight for most visitors will be sampling oysters. Perhaps choose to accompany them with champagne or stout whilst listening to live music performances from some of the best traditional musicians in Ireland. The festival is an absolute must-visit for foodies and an authentic taste of Irish culture.

Day Ten: Burren Food Trail - Farm to Fork

Enjoy a unique exploration of The Burren – a vibrant and truly unique landscape – through a specially arranged food trail which will take you to some of the region’s finest producers and dining establishments. This trail includes a visit to a working sheep farm, a traditional free range pig farm and an award-winning craft butcher, as well as a selection of artisan shops. By prior arrangement, take a cookery master class, go foraging then visit Ballyvaughan Farmers Market. End the day with dinner at the first pub in Ireland to be awarded a Michelin Star. The Head Chef creates rustic dishes that are “layered with flavours and seem to echo the location of wild Irish sky, Atlantic seascape, fresh air and open countryside”.

Day Eleven: The Castle Finale

Travel north to your final accommodation, a stunning Castle situated on an amazing estate which extends to around 26,000 acres and overlooks Lough Corrib. The main house was built in 1870 for the Guinness Family, although the estate dates back to 1228. It is considered one of the finest properties on the island and, only a couple of years ago, was voted ‘Best Resort in Ireland’ and ‘2nd Best Resort in Europe’ by Condé Nast magazine.

Day Twelve: Castle at Leisure

Spend your final day in Ireland relaxing, or perhaps taking advantage of the castle’s excellent activities. The sprawling estate covers 350 acres, and as one of the finest sporting estates in Ireland, it is something of a country playground. You may wish to explore the estate on horseback; the ancient forest is steeped in history, and the gorgeous scenery will captivate novice and expert riders alike. Keen golfers can play a round on Ashford’s beautiful 9-hole parkland course, which was designed by renowned Irish golf architect Eddie Hackett. Some of the finest Links Golf courses in the world are found nearby, and tee times can be arranged if desired. Perhaps discover the ancient art of falconry at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland.

 

Day Thirteen: Homeward Bound

Your chauffeur-guide will transfer you to Knock Airport where you will board your flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS

A visual glimpse of the key things to do and places that will be visited on this exciting itinerary

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS

THINGS TO DO

DUBLIN HIGHLIGHTS

The wide boulevard of O’Connell Street, passing the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter Rising and birthplace of the Irish Nation.

PRIVATE COOKERY CLASS

Enjoy a three-hour, hands on immersion into culinary Ireland is a unique tapas course.

ROCK OF CASHEL

Visible for miles is St Patrick’s Rock, also known as Cashel of the Kings. It was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years before the Norman invasion.

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

As you travel on horse-back, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

GALWAY OYSTER AND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL

For over sixty years, at the end of each September the renowned Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival is held.

BURREN FOOD TRAIL

This trail includes a visit to a working sheep farm, a traditional free range pig farm and an award-winning craft butcher.

PLACES VISITED

DUBLIN

Dublin is steeped in history, with Viking, medieval and Georgian influences all having left their marks. Since the time of the Vikings, Dublin has been the principal gateway to the Emerald Isle. The medieval city, with its intimate knots of small alleys and broad streets south of the river, was developed in Norman times around St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and later came to symbolise British rule in Ireland. The 18th century was the “Age of Elegance”, a time of relative prosperity when the Irish gentry set about remodelling the city into one of elegance, replete with graceful terraces, wrought-iron balconies and fanlight doorways. The city became Ireland’s capital with the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937, and today is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.

KILLARNEY

Located by the three lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park, Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. During the summer months, the lively on-street musical entertainment complements the meandering of tourists and locals alike. On bright evenings, one can browse in a bookstore, admire art or savour the delights of homemade ice cream or a finely prepared lobster.

GALWAY

Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018. The region stretches from green fields and rich farmlands to the unique karst landscape of the Burren and into Galway city, the trout fishing capital of Europe, and along the wild, rugged Atlantic coast. Galway has one of the highest densities of restaurants in Ireland and includes two of the country ‘s Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar and Loam. Galway is a city with a proud seafaring tradition and Galway Bay is one of the most celebrated oyster fisheries, where the native Irish oyster is widely prized as a delicacy in the later months of the year.

LOUGH CORRIB

Lough Corrib is reputed to have hundreds of islands including the most famous one, Inchagoill where visitors can embark upon a private guided tour and enjoy spectacular views of the Maumturk Mountain Range. There are 5th and 12th century ruins and nature trails and charming woodlands perfect for many outdoor pursuits.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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